Definitive gangster movie of the 1930s with a striking performance from Muni as the uncompromising thug with repressed inadequacies. Director Hawks infuses his vivid film with a gritty tone and it’s shot with expressive light and shadow. It also affords Raft with one of his best roles (no one ever flicked a coin with such poise!). Ben Hecht was one of five writers who contributed to the script which is clearly based on Al Capone. Due to censors the film was given the full title of SCARFACE: SHAME OF THE NATION. A classic.
1932: Scarface - Defining the American Gangster Film
Cinema is littered with gangster and organised crime; stylish anti-heroes that crave wealth and power, they play by their own rules and stop at nothing to get what they want. Although crime has been the topic of films since the very beginning, the rules, conventions and ideology of the Gangster film as a genre didn’t emerge and solidify until the beginning of the sound era, and they started largely with three films, Little Caesar and The Public Enemy from 1931 and Scarface from 1932. The films take influence from real world events like Prohibition, the wall street crash and the rise of real world gangsters like Al Capone.